A nationwide operation involving 69,000 child sex predator investigations resulted in the arrest of 1,012 suspected child predators from more than 40 states, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) announced Monday.
The Ohio Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and its affiliate agencies throughout the state were responsible for 32 arrests.
The Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) made the arrests over a two-month period, according to officials. The arrests marked the end of Operation Broken Heart, an investigative operation aimed at intensifying efforts to identify and arrest suspected child sexual predators.
The coordinated investigation ran between April and May of this year.
The operation targeted suspects who:
- possess, manufacture and distribute child pornography
- engage in online enticement of children for sexual purposes
- engage in the commercial sexual exploitation or prostitution of children
- engage in child sex tourism - traveling abroad for the purpose of sexually abusing children in other countries
"As technology and social media evolve, predators are quick to figure out how they can use these ne tools to reach - and exploit - our children," said OJJDP Acting Administrator Eileen Garry. "Our greatest strength on this ever-changing battlefield is the partnerships we have with federal, state, and local agencies. Our combined efforts across jurisdictional, state, and even national boundaries make both the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force program and Operation Broken Heart effective."
The ICAC Task Force also gave 1,245 presentations on Internet safety to more than 99,000 youth and adults in April and May. Ohio conducted 35 community outreach presentations to more than 2,900 people.
Since its launch in 1998, the task force has reviewed 705,963 child exploitation complaints, resulting in 75,688 arrests.